The Swift Song Transcript

We know that gamma ray explosions happen randomly all over the sky.
(It's like a lottery: a ticket for each square degree)
You see a FLASH! and then there's not another till about a day has gone by.
(But that depends upon detector sensitivity)
In just a moment they spew energy worth (That's pretty fast)
A value we can't even fathom on Earth, (It's really vast!)
But just what's giving rise
to gamma ray sparked skies?
Is it the death cry of a massive star
Or black hole birth? (Or both, or both? or both!)

CHORUS:
Swiftly swirling, gravity twirling,
neutron stars about to collide,
off in a galaxy so far away,
catastrophic interplay,
a roller coaster gamma ray ride.
Super bright explosion then
never to repeat again
How are we supposed to know?
How about a telescope rotation
swiftly onto the location
of its panchromatic afterglow?

In just a moment gamma ray bursts reach a peak and swiftly fade from view
(It's like a beacon shining clear across the Universe)
But they leave embers in the longer wavelengths fading for a day or two,
(It's exponential---it decays forever)
To solve this space age mystery is why (we wanna know)
We want to catch a thousand bursts on the fly,(what makes'em go?)
Their X-ray light disperse
Unlock the Universe
Measure their distance from their redshift
Mark their spot on the sky (They're where? They're here! They're there!)

CHORUS:
Swiftly swirling, gravity twirling,
neutron stars about to collide,
off in a galaxy so far away,
catastrophic interplay,
a roller coaster gamma ray ride.
Super bright explosion then
never to repeat again
How are we supposed to know?
Swift is the satellite that swings
Onto those brightly bursting things,
To grab the multiwavelength answer of what makes them glow.

It's like a lottery - a ticket for each square degree
It's like a beacon shining clear across the Universe
Swift is the satellite that swiftly swings all over the sky
Swift is designed to catch a burst of gamma rays on the fly

Performed by The Chromatics
Words and music by Padi Boyd (c) 1999
www.astrocappella.com